Heart Disease

If I’ve Been Diagnosed with a Leaky Heart Valve, What happens next?

Mitral Valve Disease Q&ADid you know that the most common type of heart valve disorder is mitral regurgitation, sometimes called a “leaky valve”? This happens when the valve between the upper and lower chambers on the left side of the heart do not close properly, which can cause a decrease in blood flow to the rest of the body.

One cause of mitral regurgitation can be mitral valve prolapse, which may affect people without always causing symptoms. This condition may also be hereditary and is sometimes handed down through families.

Join Emory Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery Douglas Murphy, MD, and Asst. Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Michael Halkos, MD, on Tuesday, Feb. 25, for an online web chat to discuss mitral valve disease. They will be available to answer questions such as:

  • What is mitral valve prolapse and regurgitation?
  • Do they always require treatment?
  • If so, what are my options?

Mitral Valve Disease Chat

Fish Oil Can Improve Heart & Brain Health

Fish Oil Supplements Heart HealthPhysicians and nutritionists advocate that individuals should eat 2 – 3.5 ounce servings of fish high in omega – 3s each week to improve heart and brain health. When eating this amount is not possible, many experts recommend substituting fish oil supplements. In fact, Emory Women’s Heart Center clinical director Gina Lundberg, MD recommends fish oil supplements for all patients after 50 years old.

A study has recently shown that women over the age of 50 who consumed the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids maintain better brain function than those who consumed lower levels. While fish oils have not been proven in research to reduce heart attack and strokes, the benefits of consuming fish oil are great. Foods (and supplements) that contain omega – 3 fatty acids (such as fish and fish oil) can reduce an individuals risk of abnormal heart rhythms such as arrhythmia and can delay plaque growth rate in the arteries. Further, omega – 3s and/or fish oil can also help lower blood pressure. A generic over the counter fish oil supplements can provide a similar benefit to the more expensive omega – 3 prescription fish oils at a lower cost, say Dr. Lundberg. Read the entire article published in USA Today to learn more as well as determine which fish oil supplements may be the best for your heart and brain health.

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About Gina Lundberg, MD
Dr. Gina LundbergDr. Lundberg, Emory Women’s Center Clinical Director, is a Preventive Cardiologist with The Emory Clinic in East Cobb. Dr. Lundberg is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine.

She is a National AHA Spokesperson. Dr. Lundberg has been a Board Member of the American Heart Association for Atlanta from 2001 till 2007 and was on the Southeast Affiliate Board 2006-2007. She also served on the SEA Strategic Health Initiatives Committee to promote Go Red for Women. She has been involved in every program related to the Go Red for Women initiative for the metro Atlanta area since its development in 2003. Dr. Lundberg was the Honoree for North Fulton/ Gwinnett County Heart Ball for 2006. In 2009 she was awarded the Women with Heart Award at the Go Red Luncheon for outstanding dedication to the program. She is a Circle of Red founding member and Core Vitae member for AHA. She also serves on the ACCF Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease Committee.
She has been interviewed on the subject of Heart Disease in Women on CNN and in USA Today. Governor Sonny Perdue appointed Dr. Lundberg to the Advisory Board for the Department of Women’s Health for the State of Georgia in 2007 till 2011. In 2005, Atlanta Woman Magazine awarded Dr. Lundberg the Top 10 Innovator Award for Medicine. In 2008 Atlanta Woman Magazine named her one of the Top 25 Professional Women to Watch and the only woman in the field of medicine. She has published articles in several medical journals and contributed to several text books.

She attended the Medical College of Georgia and trained in Internal Medicine at Atlanta Medical Center (Georgia Baptist). Her cardiology fellowship was at Rush University in Chicago. She has been in practice in Atlanta since 1994. She is Board Certified in Cardiology and Internal Medicine and recertified in both in 2002. Dr. Lundberg has two children and considers motherhood her first and foremost career. Dr. Lundberg has lived most of her life in the metro Atlanta area.

About the Emory Women’s Heart Center
Emory Women’s Heart Center is a unique program dedicated to screening, preventing and treating heart disease in women. The Center, led by nationally renowned cardiologist Gina Lundberg, MD provides comprehensive cardiac risk assessment and screenings for patients at risk for heart disease as well as full range of treatment options for women already diagnosed with heart disease care.
Find out if you are at risk for heart disease by scheduling your comprehensive cardiac screening. Call 404-778-7777.

Heart Disease is Not Just a “Man’s Disease”

Heart Disease PreventionHeart disease is often considered “a man’s disease” so you may be surprised to learn that over 8.6 million women worldwide die from heart disease each year. This accounts for over 1/3 of all deaths in women. In fact, heart disease kills 6 times more women each year compared to breast cancer.*

Interesting Facts on Heart Disease in Women Vs. Men:

  • Women often times wait longer than men to go to an emergency room for treatment while having a heart attack.
  • Physicians, not specifically trained in women and heart disease, some times have a harder time diagnosing heart attacks in women because of the differences in presentation of symptoms.
  • Women’s hearts respond better than men’s hearts to healthy changes in lifestyle.
  • Within a year after a heart attack, 38% of women will die, compared to 25% of men.
  • Women are more than 2 times more likely to die after bypass surgery then men.

Make a Healthy Nutrition New Years Resolution You Will Keep Year Long!

Did you make a New Years Resolution yet? According to a recent study at the University of Bristol, approximately 88% of the resolutions people make each New Years fail, even when the participants were extremely confident they would succeed. Well make a resolution you can keep by following some simple guidelines outlined by Emory Women’s Heart Center cardiologists. If you want to start eating a heart healthy diet and lose weight that you should start with small measurable goals instead of trying to make any dramatic changes right away.

For example, in order to change your diet, she recommends mapping out your menu for the month and only changing one or two things each week. This could be as simple as increasing the number of times each week you eat fish by one night and increasing your intake of a fruit by one a week. You can accomplish this by switching a carb snack for a fresh fruit one time a week. Write down your goals because you will be encouraged to progress.

Check out more healthy recipe and meal planning tips on this New Years heart healthy video –

About the Emory Women’s Heart Center
Emory Women’s Heart Center is a unique program dedicated to screening, preventing and treating heart disease in women. The Center, led by nationally renowned cardiologist Gina Lundberg, MD provides comprehensive cardiac risk assessment and screenings for patients at risk for heart disease as well as full range of treatment options for women already diagnosed with heart disease care.

Find out if you are at risk for heart disease by scheduling your comprehensive cardiac screening. Call 404-778-7777.

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Go Red for Your Heart In February

Go Red Events AtlantaHeart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States, but in many cases it’s preventable. That’s why Emory Healthcare would like to invite you to a women’s heart health event in February, either at our Emory University Hospital Midtown campus, or our Emory University Hospital campus.

During these fun, educational events, participants will have an opportunity to meet Emory Women’s Heart Center physicians and staff and learn about how to prevent, detect and treat heart disease. In addition, the events feature nutrition consultations, food and promotional vendors, as well as body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure screenings for attendees.

RSVP: 404-778-7777

Go Red Event Details

Date: Friday, February 14, 2014
Program: 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. — Heart Health event in the hospital’s atrium
12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m. — How to Prevent, Detect and Treat Heart Disease in Women, a presentation delivered by Emory Women’s Heart Center physician Alexis Cutchins, MD

Location: Emory University Hospital Midtown
550 Peachtree Street, NE
Atlanta, GA 30308

Women with Diabetes are Four Times More Likely to Develop Heart Disease

A new research study from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine demonstrated that women under 60 who have diabetes are up to four times more likely to develop coronary artery disease compared to those without diabetes. This news is especially important as none of the subjects had heart disease at the time of their enrollment.

In addition, we know that women under the age of 60 tend to have lower rates of heart disease compared to their male counterparts. However, this study shows that the presence of diabetes eliminated that gender disparity. These findings highlight the need for aggressive screening and management of other risk factors for coronary heart disease among younger diabetic women.

It is imperative to recognize that heart disease can present differently in women compared to men. Women often wait longer to get help and this can lead to irreversible damage to the heart muscle.

The most common symptoms of heart disease in women are :

  1. Chest Pain
  2. Pain in the back, neck, arms or jaw
  3. Upper abdominal pain
  4. Nausea or lightheadedness
  5. Shortness of breath
  6. Sweating
  7. Fatigue

If you suspect you have heart disease, visit your physician to be screened. You can check out the Emory Women’s Heart Center for details on screening. If you suspect you are having a heart attack, get help immediately. Remember, every minute makes a difference and could save your life.

About Dr. Isiadinso
Ijeoma Isiadinso, M.D.Ijeoma Isiadinso, MD MPH is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Isiadinso completed her undergraduate studies at Binghamton University in New York majoring in biology and sociology. She then pursued a joint degree in medicine and public health at MCP Hahnemann (Drexel University) School of Medicine. Dr. Isiadinso completed a residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Cardiology at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia. She served as Chief Fellow during her final year of her cardiology fellowship.

Her commitment to public health has led to her involvement in several projects focused on heart disease and diabetes. She has participated in research projects with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She has been the recipient of numerous awards and presented her work at national conferences. Her research interests include inequalities in health care, community and preventive health, lipid disorders, women and heart disease, and program development and evaluation.
Dr. Isiadinso has served as the health advisor to nonprofit organizations. She has participated in panel discussions at high schools, universities, and with the Black Entertainment Television Foundation.

About the Emory Women’s Heart Center
Emory Women’s Heart Center is a unique program dedicated to screening, preventing and treating heart disease in women. The Center, led by nationally renowned cardiologist Gina Lundberg, MD provides comprehensive cardiac risk assessment and screenings for patients at risk for heart disease as well as full range of treatment options for women already diagnosed with heart disease care.

Find out if you are at risk for heart disease by scheduling your comprehensive cardiac screening. Call 404-778-7777.

Did You Know that Getting a Flu Shot Can Also Lower Your Risk for Heart Attack?

Flu Shot Lower Heart Disease RiskRecent research published in JAMA, Journal of the American Medical Association,  indicate that the influenza vaccine may reduce the risk of a heart attack by as much as 50% for those individuals who have already had a heart attack.  Current guidelines from the American Heart Association (AHA) recommend everyone over 6 months of age receive the flu shot.

The AHA especially recommends that patients with heart disease or stroke receive the flu vaccine on an annual basis. It is not known how the flu vaccine protects the heart but it does decrease your risk of contracting the flu.  It is hypothesized that contracting the flu can increase systemic inflammation that could aggravate unstable plaques in the heart arteries.  If the unstable plaque is dislodged this could lead to a heart attack.

Regardless of whether you have heart disease or not, it is important to get your flu shot every year. And if you’ve already a experienced a heart attack, getting your flu shot may just save your life!

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About the Emory Women’s Heart Center
Emory Women’s Heart Center is a unique program dedicated to screening, preventing and treating heart disease in women. The Center, led by nationally renowned cardiologist Gina Lundberg, MD provides comprehensive cardiac risk assessment and screenings for patients at risk for heart disease as well as full range of treatment options for women already diagnosed with heart disease care.

Find out if you are at risk for heart disease by scheduling your comprehensive cardiac screening. Call 404-778-7777.

About Dr. Cutchins
Dr. Alexis Cutchins specializes in heart disease in women, general cardiology, heart disease prevention.  She has a  passion for caring for women with heart disease and is the Director of the Emory University Hospital Midtown Emory Women’s Heart Center.   She sees patients at Emory Heart & Vascular Center at Perimeter – 875 Johnson Ferry Road, Atlanta, GA, 30342 as well as at Emory Heart & Vascular Center at Midtown, 550 Peachtree Street, NE, Atlanta, GA 30308.

 

Moderate-Intensity Walking Can Lower Diabetes Risk & Boost Overall Health

Walking For Your HealthWalking is one of the most popular, cheapest as well as convenient exercises you can do. A recent study completed at George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services (SPHHS) and published in Diabetes Care indicates that moderate – intensity walking is one of the best prescriptions for improving your overall health. In order to receive the maximum benefit from this activity, it is important to work on getting your heart rate up. When you are walking you should be able to hold a conversation with your walking partner but that you are not completely out of breath.

The study showed that a short (15 minutes) moderate – intensity walk after each meal in patients at risk for Type 2 diabetes helped control blood sugar. The research was done with 10 overweight, sedentary, pre – diabetic individuals indicated walking is beneficial because it helps to clear blood sugar by the muscle contractions.

Read the full USA Today article to get some tips on walking to ensure you are maximizing your effort and the net benefit!

National government guidelines recommend adults get at least 2 ½ hours of moderate – intensity physical activity each week in addition to strengthening exercises so get walking today! You could be adding years to your life and have fun at the same time!

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About the Emory Women’s Heart Center
Emory Women’s Heart Center is a unique program dedicated to screening, preventing and treating heart disease in women. The Center, led by nationally renowned cardiologist Gina Lundberg, MD provides comprehensive cardiac risk assessment and screenings for patients at risk for heart disease as well as full range of treatment options for women already diagnosed with heart disease care.

Find out if you are at risk for heart disease by scheduling your comprehensive cardiac screening. Call 404-778-7777.

About Gina Lundberg, MD

Dr. Gina LundbergGina Price Lundberg, MD FACC is the Director of the Heart Center for Women. She founded and directed The Women’s Heart Center, the first women’s cardiac prevention program in the state of Georgia in 1998.

She was named by Governor Sonny Perdue to the Advisory Board for Women’s Health, Georgia Department of Women’s Health, Department of Community Health for 2007-2008. She is a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at Emory University and teaches cardiology fellows at Grady Hospital. She also teaches medical students from the Medical College of Georgia in preventive cardiology. She is a member of the American College of Cardiologist’s Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease Committee.

She has been a Board Member of the American Heart Association for Atlanta since 2001. She has been involved with the Go Red for Women campaign since it launched in 2004. She has been on the Southeast Affiliate for the AHA’s Strategic Initiative Committee representing Go Red for Women. She is national speaker for the American Heart Association. She has also been working with the national organization, Sister to Sister Foundation from 2004 till the present with their Atlanta program.

She has been interviewed on the subject of Heart Disease in Women in Glamour Magazine, MD News, the Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia, the Atlanta Business Chronicle, the Atlanta Journal Constitution and other magazines. She has been interviewed on numerous local news shows and many radio programs over the years. Dr. Lundberg has published articles in several medical journals and contributed to several text books.

Dr. Lundberg has lived most of her life in Atlanta,GA. She attended the Medical College of Georgia and trained in Internal Medicine at Atlanta Medical Center (Georgia Baptist). Her cardiology fellowship was at Rush University in Chicago. She has been in private practice in Atlanta since 1994. She is Board Certified in Cardiology and Internal Medicine and re-certified in both in 2002. She has two children and considers motherhood her first and foremost career.

Emory Cardiac Rehabilitation Patient Receives Volunteer Award!

Wayland Moore HeartWise Patient

Emory cardiac rehabilitation/HeartWise patient, Mr. Wayland Moore recently received the Creativity & Arts at Emory Healthcare Volunteer Award. Mr. Moore is a professional artist who has lived and worked around the Emory area for 55 years. He created ‘Art with Heart’ to help stimulate and challenge the minds of the Emory cardiac rehabilitation patients in a creative way following a heart event (heart attack, open heart surgery).

The 6 week, Art with Heart, class allows novice and intermediate artists to expand their skills in a fun and supportive environment. The monies donated from the class help to fund the scholarship program which allows Emory cardiac rehabilitation patients who experience a financial crisis to continue to exercise in a medically supervised cardiac rehabilitation program.

The class meets 4 – 5 times a year at the HeartWiseSM Risk Reduction Program located on the 5th floor of the 1525 Clifton Road building on Emory University Hospital campus. All of Mr. Moore’s time and energy is donated to help the patients in class. The current class of ‘patient artists’ is full to capacity. The art that the class creates is displayed in full light each year at the annual holiday party for the HeartWise program. Each year more art is shown and excitement is raised because of the bond and creativity that has been fostered in Mr. Moore’s class.

We are proud to have Mr. Moore as a part of the Emory cardiac rehabilitation team! Congratulations on a well deserved award!

About HeartWise℠

Emory’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Program / HeartWise℠ Risk Reduction Program helps patients reduce their risk of heart disease. Cardiac Rehabilitation / HeartWise℠ serves not only patients who currently suffer from heart disease, but also aims to identify those who could be candidates for problems down the road (smokers, people who do not exercise, a person with high blood pressure), and try to lead them down a healthier path. To learn more visit http://www.emoryhealthcare.org/heart-disease-prevention/about-us/index.html

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Dr. Samady talks George W. Bush, Cardiac Angioplasty with Associated Press

Many of the Associated Press new stories on former United States President George W. Bush’s recent surgery to unblock an artery in his heart feature discussion from Emory Heart & Vascular Center’s Director of Interventional Cardiology, Habib Samady, MD, who was interviewed to discuss details of the former President’s cardiac angioplasty and how arteries in the heart become blocked.

During a routine physical, doctors found a blockage in Bush’s artery. In order to open up the artery blockage, cardiologists at a Texas hospital performed a cardiac angioplasty procedure.

Dr. Samady says it takes 20 to 30 years for cholesterol to build up in the arteries. When the narrowing of the blood vessel gets to 80– 90 % then the blockage will limit blood flow. When this occurs patients may experience symptoms of heart disease such as:

• Chest pain
• Pressure in chest
• Shortness of breath
• Fatigue

Learn more about cardiac angioplasties and the former President’s heart surgery in this AP video featuring Dr. Samady!

Cardiac angioplasties are fairly common procedures and many times the patients go home the same day or the next day. They can be performed for outpatients with symptoms of angina or evidence of low blood flow on a stress test or for inpatients with heart attacks or “near heart attacks”. Emory cardiologists were pioneers in developing the angioplasty procedure in the 1980’s. Former Emory cardiologist Andreas Gruentzig performed the first balloon angioplasty in 1977 in Zurich, Switzerland before immigrating to the United States and coming to Emory from where the procedure was taught and disseminated through out the world. In 1987, Emory interventional cardiologists were the first to deploy coronary stents in the United States and currently are national leaders in determining which patient needs to have a blockage unblocked by measuring blood flow in each artery as well as in the use of miniaturized ultrasound and infrared cameras for the optimal deployment of coronary stents.

Dr. Habib SamadyAbout Habib Samady, MD
Dr. Samady is the Director of Interventional Cardiology at Emory Hospitals as well as an Associate Professor of Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine. He has been practicing medicine for over 20 years and has been on faculty at Emory since 1998. Dr. Samady has been instrumental in the development of the interventional cardiology program at Emory. He specializes in cardiac cauterization, interventional cardiology, nuclear cardiology and valve disease. He is a published author and has published several articles in peer reviewed publications.

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